TWIRL 87: OneWeb turns to India for its upcoming satellite launch

The TWIRL logo in front of the GSLV Mk III

We have a pretty quiet week in rocket launches this week, Russia is planning to launch three commercial Gonets-M comms satellites into low Earth orbit and OneWeb is planning to launch 36 satellites with the help of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) following the seizure of its satellites by Russia last month.

Friday, October 21

The first launch of the week is set for Friday and will take off from Vostochny Cosmodrome is Russia. A Roscosmos Soyuz 2.1b will carry three Gonets-M communication satellites to a low Earth orbit, where they will be used for commercial purposes in the Gonetz-D1M constellation. It’s unclear what time this mission will take off or whether it will be streamed live. As long as it does take off, it should be available in next week’s recap.

Saturday, October 22

The second and final launch of the week will see NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) launch an LVM3 (GSLV Mk. III) rocket carrying 36 OneWeb satellites. It’s unclear whether OneWeb was initially going to use this provider to launch its satellites, but it was using Soyuz rockets in Russia until the war in Ukraine began. Things escalated between Russia and OneWeb last month when Russia seized 36 of the company’s satellites. The launch from India will take place a 6:37 p.m. UTC from Sriharikota, India. Be sure to check the recap next week for footage if it goes ahead.


The first launch we have from last week is Japan’s Epsilon-6 carrying the Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration-3 mission. The mission carried several satellites and even more microsatellites and CubeSats.

Next, Russia launched a Proton-M rocket carrying AngoSat-2, Angola’s second comms satellite.

Wednesday saw the launch of a Long March-2C from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center carrying the Huanjing-2 05 satellite. This satellite will be used to support disaster prevention and environmental protection.

While not a launch, this footage of the SpaceX Crew-4 splashdown is quite interesting.

On Friday, a Long March-2D rocket carrying Yaogan-36 took off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite has successfully entered the desired orbit.

Finally, a SpaceX Falcon 9 launched from Florida carrying the Eutelsat Hotbird 13F comms satellite. It will be used to enhance the broadcast of TV channels in Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East.

That’s all we have this time, check back next week!

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